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Monday, August 18, 2014

Tour! Watching Fireflies by Jaycee Ford. Review & Interview & Guest Post! Oh My!

Watching Fireflies (Love Bug #1)by Jaycee Ford
Genre: Adult (Contemporary Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Lovebug Publishing

Jordan Hawthorne thought she had it all until a surprise for her fiancĂ© turns into losing everything that she ever wanted. She flees her home in Charlotte, North Carolina to take a new job in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and make a new start where her ex-fiancĂ© can’t find her. Jordan is just beginning to adjust to her new life in the middle of nowhere when a small town cowboy walks in and disrupts it all.

Tom McCloud never had time for a serious commitment, always too busy with running his grandparents’ farm. Everything changes when he stumbles upon a broken-hearted city girl and a steamy buzz ignites between them. But what happens when the city girl can’t stay hidden in the country for long?

Watching Fireflies by Jaycee Ford is an engaging city meets country romance. Jordan is a city girl, but due to unfortunate circumstances she finds herself living in the country. Neither Jordan nor Tom are looking for love, but when they meet, things change. Jordan falls for Tom a little quicker than I would have expected for someone in her particular situation, but their chemistry is strong from the start. Speaking of which, how they meet is pretty funny too. The characters felt real and they had substance. They were characters I enjoyed rooting for. Watching Fireflies is a cute and steamy romance with some humor and suspense mixed in all the right places.

Watching Fireflies by Jaycee Ford was kindly provided to me by Wanderlust Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.

His hand caressed my cheek while his gaze flickered between my eyes and my lips. My heart fluttered as it drummed an anxiously hopeful beat. What was happening between us was inevitable, and there was no stopping the inevitable. Our breath intertwined just as his lips brushed against mine. My body almost lost all will to function as it hummed with need. His eyes found mine again as if seeking permission to continue. I wasn’t about to stop him. He leaned into me once again. I responded with a passion, a hunger.
My arms wrapped around his neck, dropping the bottles of beer onto the rug-covered floor. He pulled me flush against his body, and my fingers instinctively laced through his brown hair. My tongue swept against his lower lip; his gently massaged mine. The arms that wrapped around me engulfed me in a heaven that I never wanted to leave. My inner desires pooled within as a moan rose up, but I didn't know if it came from him or me.
As much as I didn't want to, I broke the kiss, and as we both inhaled deeply, he rested his forehead against mine and whispered, “Did you feel that?”
My body strummed with desire as my heart thumped an erratic beat. I exhaled slowly as my eyes remained closed, and I whispered, “Yes."

How long have you been writing?
Aside from the random school writing assignments, Watching Fireflies was my first attempt at writing. I just wanted to see if I could produce something that I could call a story. After two years of tweaking, it’s ready to be published. I never thought I would get to this point. I never thought it was an option, but after a few nudges, I bit the bullet and decided to publish my series.

What inspired you to write Watching Fireflies?
It’s kind of horrible to say. I read a book and thought it was terrible. I said, “I can do than that.” I realized after two years of working on Watching Fireflies that writing a book isn’t easy, but I told myself that I could do it and I did it. My own challenges I forced on myself was my inspiration. If only I could use that same aspect at the gym. 

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
This is a tough one. I pour a bit of me into each character. Write what you know and all that. But I think out of all characters, I relate with Katherine the most. Her story unfolds in Hornet’s Nest which is book three of the Love Bug series. She has her own battles with karma. Katherine’s story is the bitch slap they call life; although, the greatest thing about fiction is that you can always write a happily ever after. *big smile*

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
I didn’t read for three solid years after I graduated college. Twilight pulled me out of my reading boycott. Yes. You read that right. I had to know what all the fuss was about. And then I remembered how much I loved the smell of books. And now I need another bookshelf.

What book have you read too many times to count?
The romance writer side would say Pride and Prejudice, but since I was a History major, I actually read Twelve Years a Slave more. I believe five times. Or I was supposed to. I don’t think I read it the last two times I was assigned to. I did fine either way. 

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
It wasn’t so much writing advice as it was publishing advice. I had been on the fence for a year between the waiting game of traditional publishing or the instant gratification of self publishing. I was lucky enough to have lunch with Abbi Glines at the beginning of the RT Convention in New Orleans this past May. She said, “Self-publish.” And I said, “Yes ma’am.” And three months later, here we are. 

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Jordan Hawthorne from Watching Fireflies, of course. Tom is hottt. Lucky duck.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I could create one. Haha. It was a challenge and I’m proud that I did actually accomplish that. 

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Between a full time job and working on the love bug series, I’m either sleeping or reading before sleep. Sometimes I eat. This is usually at work or while writing/editing. I promised myself by Mardi Gras I would sit down and enjoy the parade. Come on February!

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
I believe Watching Fireflies is more of imagination than real life. I can’t really pinpoint anything similar except the environment of the country. It’s somewhat based on where I used to live in North Carolina. The other books in the Love Bug series (Dragonfly Awakening, Hornet’s Nest, Mosquito Chase) have more of real life experiences or situations that I would elaborate on and add to the story line. But I would say about 80% imagination all together. 

Thank you for the interview! I hope y’all enjoy Watching Fireflies!
The Balancing Act of a Writer

Two years ago, I was bored. I would go to work and come home and kiss the hubster and read and sleep. After reading a certain book, I decided that I wanted to write, or at least try to. I typed the first few sentences of Watching Fireflies. Two years and three months later, Watching Fireflies is ready for publishing.
Now I have the dilemma of working a full time job, being a wife, and becoming a published author. I honestly don’t think I would have been able to do this if I had children. I’m in awe of woman who can. Two years ago, I would write for a few hours a few times a week, but now I’m so busy that I sometimes forget to eat. I think I have balanced the full time job and the writing. My husband does miss me. Remind me to tell him hi when I’m done.
My joke is that I leave one job for another. I now work and work and sleep. I have to force myself to read a book. I feel guilty when I do something leisurely because I know I have work to do. I do find myself a bit more tired at my job, but the coffee is pretty tasty there.
Being just days before publishing Watching Fireflies and while I prepare the rest of the Love Bug series, my day begins at 6:00am and ends on most nights at 1:00am. (Yes, thank God for good coffee.) I must admit, the writing part was the easy part. Becoming a self-published writer is the beginning of a business. My brand is “Jaycee Ford” and I have to market the crap out of it. I work in accounting and know nothing of marketing. So, on top of working, writing, being a wife, and remembering to feed my dog, I had to learn the business of marketing a brand. I’m still learning quite a bit.
Dragonfly Awakening is the second book in the Love Bug series, which is slated for publishing on September 30th. Hornet’s Nest is set for the end of November, and the fourth book, Mosquito Chase, is tentatively set for February 2015. The balance of life has shifted more to the writing side, but I have combined a book signing with a beach trip for me and the hubster. Good job, wifey!
Multi-tasking is an art form. That is the only way someone can become a writer.
I do admit, I miss those evenings where I just laid on the sofa and read a book, and when I get really frustrated with writing or the process of publishing, I cuss myself for ever starting. At the end of the day, I’m proud of myself. Publishing your own words for the world to see is nerve wracking. It wasn’t easy to switch my balance of life and turn my world upside down, but knowing I accomplished it, it’s pretty amazing. 

Jaycee Ford grew up chasing street cars around the city of New Orleans. After doing a four year stint at Louisiana State University, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and fled for the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. New Orleans beckoned her home again where she put her love of the foothills into a series of romance novels. In between writing, she’s found behind her desk at a top rated law firm … or still chasing street cars.

To learn more about Jaycee Ford and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebook, and Twitter.
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